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“This once ELEGANT and very UPSCALE hotel has lost the cachet it once had as Carmel's premier hotel and is is not worth the premi” 3 of 5 stars
Review of La Playa Carmel

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La Playa Carmel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Camino Real at 8th Ave, Carmel, CA 93921 (Formerly La Playa Hotel)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 21 hotels in Carmel
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“This once ELEGANT and very UPSCALE hotel has lost the cachet it once had as Carmel's premier hotel and is is not worth the premi”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012 via mobile

I had stayed at the La Playa hotel in the early 1980s on a trip down the coast with my parents. Everything about it then was first class. The staff, rooms, furnishings, food, service were all first rate.
I stayed two other times in the 1990s and found the hotel very pleasant although the room we had off the garden was charming once and dark and damp another time.
We received a promotional rate invitation a month ago in which we were enticed to come to the newly renovated La Playa. Perhaps I should have known something was amiss, when no one could describe the room other than to say they had been renovated. As you'll see, it's not just the cheap renovation that's the problem!
I'll start by saying we received a wonderful welcome from Pandu as we pulled up. From the exterior, the La Playa
Is as beautiful as ever. Lovely flowers flanking a beautiful Mediterranean building. The gardens behind the hotel are still beautiful, the pool still sits majestically in the middle of the gardens and giant sized chess pieces entice for playing an afternoon game.
The check in was seamless- a big bowl of granny smith apples sat on the front counter. We were taken to the only room I was assured on the phone was available- a suite on the top floor. In reality it was one large room with a bed and night stands, a table for four, a sleeper sofa and some comfy chairs. The room has a wicker theme and cushions in calm beiges and celery tones. The carpet is a striped seagrass that makes for a serene room . Similarly, the bathroom had been done over with beige travertine and was done relatively well.
The pros of our room - the view. The view of palm trees and the rooftops and the magnificent Pacific Ocean.
And the room was clean! No question it has just been done over.
But now the cons. This was without a doubt a cheap renovation. The new furniture reeks of cheap. The towels
are cheap and thin. The bath products, while nice, are no more enticing than at a hotel ONE QUARTER the price.
A hotel with a mini bar and NO DRINKS?there was a welcome noted from the manager - nice touch- and three TINY pieces of fruit/ cheap!
The BIGGEST PROBLEM however was the CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH.
We arrived in the breakfast area at 9 am. After being told the hotel was FULL, we noted that there was ONE server who kept going back into the kitchen and bringing out half a dozen baked goodies at a time. The fruit platter was sparse, the cheese and meat breakfast platter had ONE piece of cheese and a few slices of ham. True there were yogurts, warm cereal and juices and coffee and ONE kind of bread to toast. And there was a bottle of champagne as well. There was, to be fair, another person making eggs or omelettes in an adjacent room, but he was clearly overwhelmed and had no idea of who had ordered what and sometimes had three orders going and other times only one order in the frying pan.
Still, it was quite a while that the ONE server brought out supplies- napkins and cutlery on one trip, more fruit on another trip. Finally, two managerial people turned up and started pitching in.
We gave up and left.
So here's what my complaint is. I paid $489. BEFORE tax for the room
and CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH! I was told the room would regularly be in the $650. range. This was WITHOUT a doubt the BIGGEST RIPOFF I have ever experienced. I want my money back. The staff is pleasant but totally unprepared , they lack the professional demeanor of many other places in town and
vicinty. DO NOT STAY at this MAJOR RIPOFF that should be ASHAMED to be charging LONDON or NEW
YORK rates for little better than a two star hotel. I've had better service, rooms and food at hotels a quarter the price all over this country.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (125)
Date | Rating
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English first
Honolulu
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

The La Playa was apparently just renovated and it showed. THe hotel was immaculate, and the grounds were beautiful. We only stayed 2 nights, but it was a perfect escape from SF, and the drive isnt that bad at all.
Its a block or two from the beach and a couple blacks from down town Carmel. Once we go there we walked everywhere, which was so nice. I'd go back again for sure.

Room Tip: We stayed in 313, and it had ocean views and hotel ground views.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Venice, California, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

My girlfriends and I drove up to Carmel to have a fun, quiet getaway from LA, and what a great weekend we had! The hotel is adorable. Very quaint, but with modern updates. The decor was beautiful and the staff was so friendly. My room was a great size with a nice bathroom and had a beautiful ocean view. The continental breakfast is great, with outdoor seating. You can eat your waffles and listen to the waves crashing! The location was great, too. Walking distance to shops, the beach and places to eat. I had a wonderful time at La Playa and would definitely return!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

Service was spectacular and the friendliness was infectious. Well appointed rooms and a beautiful breakfast included! Everythihng has been modernized but the old world feel is still there.I cant wait to get back!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012

I had an ocean view room on the 4th floor of this hotel for a weekend in July. It was heavenly waking up to the sound of the waves crashing on the beach, and the view was gorgeous, too.

This place has an ideal location -- its walking distance into the cute shops in town, and to the beach, which is gorgeous.

The staff was very friendly and helpful, the beds were nice and cozy -- an all-around great hotel! The grounds are beautiful too, with pretty gardens, a swimming pool and an oversized chess board. I'd go back for sure.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012

I just came back from a fantastic weekend getaway at the La Playa. I stayed there when I was young and have so many wonderful memories of playing in the pool. The new owners did a marvelous job of renovating it to its former glory. The decor is tasteful, up to date, classic and unpretentious. The rooms are comfortable, spacious and homey. (Chocolates on the pillows are not a lost art!) I had an ocean view room and could hear the waves crashing on the shore. Not shabby! The breakfast was delicious, accented with ocean views and an outdoor firepit. The close proximity to town and the ocean was a major plus and definitely an added value to the hotel. They also offer shuttle service around Carmel which I found to be a wonderful amenity. Can't wait to visit again!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Rosa, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed 2 nights at this luxurious hotel. The La Playa is under new ownership/management and everything is newly remodeled. We were treated like royalty. The staff was informative -- be sure to ask them about the history of this hotel as it was built in 1909. It was great to see the original artwork lining the halls. From our room we could not only hear the surf, but see the waves crashing on the shore. We were lucky to wake up to sunshine and a wonderful breakfast in the dining room overlooking the ocean and courtyard gardens. I can't wait to return!

Room Tip: Ask for the 4th floor with on ocean view.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Playa Carmel

Address: Camino Real at 8th Ave, Carmel, CA 93921 (Formerly La Playa Hotel)
Location: United States > California > Monterey Peninsula > Carmel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Carmel
#3 Romantic Hotel in Carmel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — La Playa Carmel 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Playa Carmel is a 75-room historic luxury boutique hotel, newly restored to preserve its turn-of-the-century charm while updating it to modern-day standards. Located two blocks from the beach and village shops, art galleries and restaurants, the hotel is situated in the heart of Carmel and anchors its most prestigious residential neighborhood. The grounds encompass meticulously tended gardens, intimate patios, secluded courtyards and a tranquil terrace swimming pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel La Playa
La Playa Carmel Ca

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